Scotland v England: Scotland player ratings

lamont scotland

15. Stuart Hogg: 6
One of Scotland’s better performers but he hardly got a chance to attack all game. His positioning in defence was good and his traction engine of a right boot kept Mike Brown guessing and turning whenever he kicked.

14. Tommy Seymour: 5
Threatened a few times and beat a couple of defenders but he largely spent the game running back and forth after pointless kicks. He looks half-decent on his day but will always be behind Sean Maitland and Tim Visser in the pecking order.

13. Alex Dunbar: 6
He worked hard in defence and twice he had to track back to make try-saving tackles on Jonny May, only to get a yellow card. Didn’t have a chance to prove himself in attack though.

12. Matt Scott: 3.5
You can tell he hasn’t played in a while due to injury. Showed nice footwork to begin with but once his fitness dropped, he missed a number of telling tackles, including one on Jack Nowell which led to Brown’s try.

11. Sean Lamont: 4
He didn’t look as hungry for the ball as last week and England targeted his lack of pace with long passes and cross-field kicks. He knew exactly what he was doing when he gave away a stupid penalty in front of his own posts.

10. Duncan Weir: 4.5
His strategy of kicking to the corners would have worked were it not for his poor kicking. Didn’t have a plan B after this and he looked clueless when faced with a white wall of defenders.

9. Greig Laidlaw: 4
He missed his only two attempts at goal and his box kicking was extremely poor. Add that to the slow service and indecisiveness and it all adds up to a bad day at the office for Laidlaw. Chris Cusiter has to start at 9 to give Scotland a much needed spark.

1. Ryan Grant: 4
Managed to hold his own in the scrum against Dan Cole but just like last week, he offered nothing in the loose. Gone are the days when Grant used to be close to double figures in the tackle count; he needs to get back to the form that saw him called up to the Lions before Dickinson jumps ahead of him.

2. Ross Ford: 2
The only reason that he has a rating as high as two is because he made two tackles. The lineout jumpers were useless and slow and he still couldn’t hit anywhere near them. He didn’t attempt to hook again which would have made the scrums a lot easier.

3. Moray Low: 4
Pretty much exactly the same as Grant. Redeemed himself with his scrummaging against a better front-row but still gave his team nothing in attack or defence.

4. Tim Swinson: 4
Physical in attack and defence but he was eclipsed by the more mobile opposition locks. His lack of organisation and communication were just some of the reasons why the lineout failed so badly. Shouldn’t be starting ahead of the Gray brothers but he’s a handy option to come off the bench.

5. Jim Hamilton: 3
Again, his experience should have shone through in a game like this, but instead he was slow, useless and gave away four needless penalties. Come on in Jim, your time is up.

6. Ryan Wilson: 4
Many said that Kelly Brown should have started ahead of him before the game and in reflection, he should have. He showed a lot of fight but at the moment he doesn’t have the ability needed at international level.

7. Chris Fusaro: 6
His solid debut was one of the few shining lights for Scotland. The breakdown was a lot better because of him and he made 16 tackles, even though the toil of test rugby showed at the end. Deserves to stay in the team.

8. Dave Denton: 6
I feel like I’m repeating myself from last week here. Tireless effort from Denton and he carried and tackled well but he is still seen by many as a six not an eight. For some baffling reason, he was subbed after 50 minutes.

Replacements: 5
Unfortunately, most of the replacements were too late or, in the case of Scott Lawson, not good enough to make an impact on the game. Alasdair Dickinson and Geoff Cross were solid as was the popular Johnnie Beattie. Cusiter couldn’t really do a lot and Max Evans spent most of the time going backwards.

By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

11 thoughts on “Scotland v England: Scotland player ratings

  1. Fair ratings. Hoping for a Cusiter and Jackson half back pairing against Italy and a Brown/Beattie, Fusaro and Denton backrow.

    Also hoping for some points scored. Like maybe one of those weird try things or something…

  2. More than fair ratings, Scotland were god awful, big changes required.

    Ford, Swinson, Hamilton, Wilson, Laidlaw, should all be dropped for the Italy game. I’d like to see the Gray brothers starting, as well as McArthur. Either Brown or Denton playing 6 with Fusaro at 7 and Beattie/Denton starting at 8. Cusiter behind the pack as Laidlaw offered nothing whatsoever. That’s just for starters…

    Not feeling so confident ahead of our trip to Italy.

    1. A Beattie/Cusiter combo could wake up the Scottish attack at 8/9. But I’m not sure what to do with Denton. He’s been playing very week but so have Brown and Beattie. I’d be tempted to try a game with him on the Bench and bring him on relatively early at 6 or 8 depending on requirements? Can’t see that as a permanent solution though.

  3. Think a 2 for Ford is generous, he’s a prop in disguise not a hooker as he doesn’t hook. Agree with all other comments. Wish Denton would aim to hit gaps rather than defenders, so would start Beattie at 8, and have Denton on the bench. Both Grays, Cusiter, McArthur, Evans and Jackson to start vs Italy.

  4. Agreed with these ratings. Fans will be clamoring for big changes to be made, half of that squad could easily be dropped for their performances and several first caps given out for people who have shone at club level but not been given the chance in the blue shirt yet.

    Hamilton didn’t play badly but he has become a liability for his indiscipline. Giving away pentalty after penalty is beneath a player of his ability and experience and damaged the Scottish side.

    I have gone from hope in Johnson to despair in just two games. He simply is not an international-level coach. His selections are off (and he doesn’t have the excuse of building depth anymore when he’s refusing to call up new players to replace lacking ones), his subsitution decisions are appalling and he seems to have no idea how to build any kind of attacking finese in a side full of players who are capable of just that at club level. His departure could not come too soon.

    Both Grays, Cusiter, McArthur, Evans and Jackson to start vs Italy. Doug is spot on.

  5. Completely agree with the ratings and comments. Can we subliminally get this through to the coaches? We’re pretty stuffed in the front row, but for the rest of the pack: Gray, Gray and any of Brown/Denton (6), Beattie/Denton (8), Fusaro/Rennie/Barclay/Grant (7). Agree that we need to start Cus at 9 to get some impetus in the halfbacks too.

  6. Agree with majority of the scores but is a radical turnaround in playing staff what Scotland really need at the moment? I believe that it’ll come out in the wash when Johnson has moved upstairs, that he has been doing Cotters dirty work for him before he arrives in the summer by trying out everything from set plays to patterns to blooding players, so Cotter hits the ground running. I think that he communicates on a very regular basis with Cotter and would go as far as to say that it hasn’t been Johnsons teams on the pitch recently. These players on the field are better than those recent poor performances would suggest. They are not playing with conviction in the style they have been asked to play and in great chunks of play on Saturday, seemed to resort to reactive rugby only! 1st half, as an example, Sean Lamont hands in the air asking for an attacking cross field kick, which did happen but because he wanted it and didn’t expect it, even though he asked for it he was nowhere near the ball when it bounced with one England defender easily mopping it up. He should have been sprinting behind the offside line so as to just remain onside at the kick! Time is up Ross Ford. I watched young Fusaro from half time onwards and he put in some shift. Needed replaced though about the time that Denton went off, as was struggling. Gets my Scottish man of the match, just ahead of Denton who was unbelievably subbed.
    Bring on the Italians.

  7. I think a back row of Denton, Fusaro and Beattie would be better for the next match. Brown on the bench could potentially cover all three positions. Denton’s work rate and physicality could be employed excellently at 6, and Beattie has made some good breaks when he’s come on, and probably deserves a start.

    I also think Scott needs more time to get fit, and I would stick Taylor back in to start the next match.

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